Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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A Call to Activism

Live Oak - Activism

In the darkness, fear and anger deepen their grip on me.  Bumping up against ideals, opinions, and stories that I have formed, with urgency I am compelled to avenge imbalances and inequities.  I dash in to sweep up the broken pieces of what I perceive as attacks against me and struggle surrounding me.  I am driven to defend principles that through my ego’s eye define me.

This posture that I take implies superiority and gives way to judgment.  In my rush to right the wrongs, I become the being I so justly argue against.  Resentment bubbles up and my ego says, “they are not worthy…they should be punished…they do not belong…silence them…shun them.”

And then my heart whispers, “wait…they too are suffering.”  Those opinions I defend and just as importantly those I oppose are here to guide, test, and inform me.

To release my struggle, my fear, my anger, and my suffering, others do not need to pay a conjured debt for who they are.

Compassion, patience, and trust become my weapons against the injustices, inequities, and imbalances that swirl around me.

Allowing it all to exist and maintaining harmony, care, and peace…that is the true work of an activist.

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Finding Joy

I love finding joy in unusual places.

In the raindrop that pokes my cheek and the wind that tosses my hair.

In the pattern of seeds that accidentally scatter on the floor.

In the slow looking that comes with the crowd of cars extending my commute.

In the exhale.

Here I am in my natural state of being. I feel no urgency, only a sense of calm and strength. I begin to know the essence of love.

Maybe finding joy is my super power.


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Aware versus Analytical

I don’t need a “why.” I just need an “oh.”

Noticing something, my mind quickly jumps in to create a story.

I have this sensation. I will label it. I will now connect it to good or bad. My mind will attach it to a memory and define it as an experience.

How splendid it would be to just notice with curiosity, not the critical mind, as each thought occurs like drops of water. Inquisitively, I watch the water dripping, not seeking to explain its circumstance but simply present in its occurrence.

Awareness without analysis, knowledge for discovery, not proof or justification.

When I “oh” instead of “why”, I “be” instead of “do.”


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Swimming with the Rip Tide

Instinctively, as I get caught in the tugging, dragging, pulling pressure of the rip tide, I tense, tighten, and fight for control. I can’t see it but I struggle violently against this force that seems bigger than me. Then, just when all seems hopeless, I let go. I allow the tide to carry me.

Suddenly now I am floating on its surface instead of kicking against its hold on me. Instead of feeling I have lost control, I trust the waters to carry me.

Just then the fighting stops. When I release the resistance, I gain my freedom.

The current carries me farther and farther out but I relax more and more into the rocking motion of the water and the excitement of going somewhere new.

And then the current changes. I gradually float closer to the shore. I arrive not in the same place but still me, having lost nothing by giving up that control.

I stand at the water’s edge now wondering what other hidden currents are calling me to let go of resistance in order to arrive at some place new.


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Step by Step

There are those who walk within the crosswalk and those who create their own lines. Endless ways to reach your destination. Different challenges in each one. But, when you walk confidently, fully present and in tune with your vibration, there is an unquestionable spring in your step, a natural joy in knowing that you are moving forwards in your own way.

Stepping off the curb is often the toughest part.


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Awakening

Awakening

What if your daily experiences were really no different than your dreams – simply stories pieced together to provide information.  Stories intended to awaken in you parts that are dormant, numb, forgotten or that would otherwise go unnoticed.  Each of these stories placed before you to illuminate a potential to think, feel, and engage differently beyond what is familiar and routine.

When I move my body in a new way, I awaken unfamiliar yet exciting new connections with muscles and bones. When I move my thoughts with curiosity, not always believing I have the answer, I am no longer reticent but have rubbed the sleep from my eyes.  When my emotions flow freely, even to the point of creating discomfort, I welcome the new dawn of compassion, courage, trust, and forgiveness.

I awaken an inner knowing, like the sun illuminating the sky.  I am suddenly aware of something far greater than these dreams.  I rise from the darkness knowing my capacity to explore, play, experiment, feel and know, all the while aware that the stories do not make me.


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Stepping Stones

There is a tendency for us to focus on the negative in the situations that are unfolding around us – to see the hate, the violence, the suffering, the injustices. We may see where we are and what is happening around us as a time of struggle, hopelessness, despair, darkness. We worry about what life will be like tomorrow. We may even fear hardship for our children as if the world around us is falling apart.

But our children are not afraid. They have confidence, perhaps just like we did when we were younger, that they are simply learning and evolving. They have a deep knowing that where we are today is an opportunity for them to succeed tomorrow. Those who are following their internal GPS are filled with hope.

So maybe instead of fretting about the politics, being angry about the hate and violence, and focusing on what is wrong or lacking, we are meant to relax into this darkness so that we can discover the light and have confidence in our children to know the way. Maybe what we see happening around us and to us today are actually the stepping stones our children need to lead us all to happiness, peace, and universal love tomorrow.